Chocosphere®
Fine Chocolates from Around the World since 1998
Phone calls welcome: 503‑692‑3323
Open hours: 8:30A-4:30P M-F Pacific Time excluding holidays.

 

choco-logoThe Chocospherian

Incredible Chocolate News

August 19th, 2018

Written By: Joanne Kryszek, Chocosphere Co-Founder and Chocolate Goddess, and the Chocosphere Team

Preface  
Incr‘Edible’ Chocolate Deals… Customer Service
What’s New? Newsletter
Recipe Corner Topics

Preface

Twenty years ago... Who knew?

When we first started thinking about chocolate in this very special way, we couldn’t imagine all of the strange and wonderful things that would happen in the culinary world in general and the crazy sweet chocolate explosion!

We didn’t know that cacao percentage or “bean to bar” would become a ‘thing’, or that cacao would be touted as having high flavonoids and antioxidant rich tendencies. We didn’t know that cacao products would be “used extensively in the food and pharmaceutical industries” (reference: Drugs.com). We couldn’t have imagined that there would be multiple international systems of rating different chocolate bars or that food writers would write about the mystical and difficult to find places that “the best” cacao would be found. We had no idea that there would be over 200 small bean to bar chocolate makers in the U.S. and more in many countries around the world.

Never did we dream that chocolate would be paired with everything from rum to uzu. It didn’t enter our minds that the small chocolate business started in the basement of our home would be going strong twenty years later or that the folks who purchased from us in the old days would still be with us. And who thought that 100% cacao chocolate bars (no sugar, no vanilla... just pure cacao) would be so popular? We just loved the chocolate we were eating and knew we needed more.


Incr‘Edible’ Chocolate Deals

It's Our 20th Anniversary!  

We're coming up on Chocosphere's 20th Anniversary!  It was back in September 1998 when www.chocosphere.com first went online.  The mission?  To offer some of the world's delectable chocolate to folks in the U.S. who had been tempted by that delicious taste overseas, just to find only "that grocery store stuff" available back home in the U.S.  The genesis of Chocosphere came from our friend John who still works for Intel and travels the world.  In the mid 90's he brought back really good chocolate from Belgium for Joanne and Jerry.  Then, in 1997 his travel budget was cut!  What to do?  In November of 1997, Joanne came up with a brilliant idea: "Let's start a chocolate Internet site.  It will be easy!"  It wasn't easy, but it was definitely worth the effort.  We're so glad that we can continue to bring chocolate deliciousness to you after all these years. We look forward to doing so for a long time to come!  

So help us celebrate in the months of August and September. Shop our Anniversary Page where there will be some very special specials offered. As of this writing, our Anniversary Page is a celebration of award winning chocolate and a co-celebration with Guittard Chocolate Company's 150th year.  Purchase unique chocolate and award winners at anniversary specal prices!  We're looking to come up with some other specials soon.  Also, watch the Chocosphere Facebook page for games and promotions.

A Wide Variety at "On Sale" and "Bargain Basement" Prices!

There are 37 products as of this writing on the “On Sale” page, too many to list so you’ll just have to look. There are 10 products on the Bargain Basement page, most of them Domori (we just get way too enthusiastic about Domori) because we overbought. This is your opportunity to try it two for the price of one.


What's New?

Or in this instance, what’s back?

François Pralus: We are pleased to have François Pralus’ collection of beautiful chocolate back after a bit of an interruption with our supply chain. We are now bringing their products directly from France and you will notice some new offerings along with all of the bars we carried before. We think you’ll like the price too.

There are two new 100 gram bars:

* Costa Rica; with a robust woody aroma, and a fresh vanilla taste.
* Nicaragua; with a minty mouth feel and spicy aroma.

Three 160 gram Infernale bars have been added:

* Infernale Pistachio; Dark chocolate covering pistachio paste with whole pistachios.
* Infernale Milk; Milk chocolate covering hazelnut/almond praline with whole hazelnuts.
* Infernale Nougat; Milk chocolate covering a nougat of almonds, pistachios, honey and nut pieces.

We’ve also added two flavored 50 gram bars:
* Carre de Café Noir; made of coffee, cacao butter, and sugar but no cacao solids.
* Carre de Café au Lait; similar to the Noir above but with some milk powder added.
These bars are about a smooth coffee experience. If you don’t have time for that morning "cup of joe", one of these bars will get your day started right. They are also perfect for that afternoon pick me up.

There is also a new 3 bar assortment
* Les Crus d'Excellence; an elegant collection of three 50 gram dark chocolate bars made from premiere Venezuelan cacaos; Cuyagua, Chuao and Porcelana

And, we’ve added a nifty gift box of 24 assorted squares from the Pralus Tropical Collection. It is kind of like the Mini Pyramide we’ve carried for years, with more squares in an attractive box.

And so much more new...

Belvie: A new shipment just arrived from Vietnam, including three new types.  The Au Lait 55% Milk chocolate bar has been artfully crafted from the beans of the Dong Nai province.  Belvie Black Pearl 85% is a Limited Edition bar made of cacao from a small plantation in Ben Tre province. Black Diamond 100% also is a Limited Edition bar and the most intense of the Belvie offerings, made of cacao from Dong Nai province.

Venchi: We have the most adorable Venchi mini-book tin that is filled with an irresistible assortment of 6 Chocaviar chocolates.

Mediterranean-Style whole coffee beans: Regular and Decaf. Extra dark and intense, but so smooth we didn’t need to add sugar. Give these beans a coarse grind and use them in your French press for an irresistibly rich cup of coffee. The dark roast on these beans make them perfect for your espresso machine as well.

Guittard Akoma Chocolate Chips in a 50 lb bag: Can you ever have enough chocolate chips? Now you can buy a 50 pound bag (900 count per pound). That’s about 45,000 chips meaning you shouldn’t run out for a while. Of course, we continue to offer 1kg repackaged bags, and we’ll keep trying to get the 25 lb boxes from Guittard (the 25 lb boxes have not been available for a while for unknown reasons). These chips are 55% cacao and Fair Trade, and have a wonderful balance of sweetness and chocolate strength as you would want in a gourmet cookie chip.  Though the 50 lb bag is out of stock as of this writing, we'll have it back within about two weeks from this writing so check it out.

Guittard Eureka Works Limited Edition Dark Chocolate - 500g Blended origin, 62% cacao. Help us celebrate Guittard's 150th anniversary! "Back in the day", Guittard's chocolate had a flavor you'd only find on the west coast of the US – a product of sourcing mainly on the Pacific trade routes. Guittard's Eureka Works chocolate recreates that classic west coast flavor, using cocoa from their earliest sourcing locations for a classic blend of flavors and a taste of history.  Look for an Anniversary Special for Eureka Works.  Though the anniversaries are different, Guittard and Chocosphere are both celebrating now!

Callebaut Gold Callets - 2.5 Kg and 1 Kg: White chocolate, made with caramelized sugar and milk. Gold has an intense yet balanced caramel chocolate taste, with rich notes of toffee, butter, cream and an exciting dash of salt. Gold has a unique, warm caramel and pale amber color, with a golden hue.

Planetary Design: - Since the Earth is the only planet with chocolate we felt it necessary to find a storage solution. Along came Planetary Design with an ingenious “Airscape” storage unit. Airscape is unique because it comes with a special insert that allows almost all the air to be pushed out of the storage container before switching to an airtight seal. This container, in a variety of colors, is ideal for preserving freshness and works for chocolate, coffee, cocoa nibs and just about any other dry goods. A nifty desk top french press will allow you to take, make and drink your “cocoa tea” (brewed cacao nibs) or coffee anywhere you go in a stainless steel double-wall insulated mug. We also offer their Table Top French Press for making delicious cocoa tea or coffee at home, and a stainless steel double-wall insulated travel mug.


Recipe Corner

VALRHONA PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Makes around 2 dozens cookies
INGREDIENTS (gluten free)

1 cup creamy peanut butter (no sugar)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup *Milk Chocolate Chips (see note below)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Mix together peanut butter, sugar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Beat in egg. Stir in *Milk Chocolate Chips (see note below).

Spoon heaping tablespoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to handle, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack for cooling.

*Joanne's Note: We don’t have the Valrhona milk chocolate chips yet. I used Valrhona Azalea Les Feves very successfully for this recipe, chopping the larger discs a bit to make chunks similar to the size of a cookie chip. This recipe is so good that I make it at least once a week because it helps me stay away from flour.  Also, while we're at it but on a different subject, look for a very special recipe from one of our long-time customers in our next newsletter, just in time for hot chocolate season!

 


Customer Service

Of course we are happy to help over the phone, but we do appreciate it when you place your order on line. It helps us to give the most prompt and accurate service. And when you need help, we are here for you. There is generally someone answering the phones between 8:30am. and 4:30pm. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, with the exception of commonly observed holidays.

There are five of us answering phones at Chocosphere, where we speak fluent Chocospherian. We try hard to answer all calls personally during normal business hours, but occasionally one slips over to voice mail. If you call and end up in voice mail, please leave a message. We will do our very best to call back promptly. If by chance you don't hear back from us in a reasonable time, please call again during our normal business hours.

We each have varying levels of experience. It is our goal to happily serve you the very best chocolate!!

Finally, and very importantly, our web site lists our service commitments as to when we ship an order based on when the order is placed. However, we certainly understand there are circumstances where you may want us to process an order faster, when you need your chocolate “now”! If you need your order shipped faster than our listed service commitment, please place your order online letting us know of your need in the “Comments” section, and then call us (503-692-3323 x 0 for Customer Service) to let us know. We can't guarantee early shipping, but we always try hard to provide chocolate happiness to our valued customers.


Newsletter

If you want us to send a copy as an email every time there is a new issue or to tell you about special offers, please create an account at chocosphere.com and check the newsletter box.


Topics:

If you have a topic you would like us to cover in the newsletter, please drop us a line: customer-service@chocosphere.com and we will be happy to include it in a future edition.

Contact us at 503-692-3323 and press 0 for Customer Service

Fax 503-692-1494